THE number of people admitted to hospital in Swindon due to self harm has increased this year and a project set up to help are also seeing higher numbers of the gay community using the it.
Figures released by the NHS Information Centre show there were 791 self harm hospital admissions in Swindon from September 2011 to August 2012, compared to 700 during the same time period in 2010-11.
Locally, help is available to those who self harm through PASH (Preservation Around Self Harm), a free and confidential service directing people away from self harming or injuring behaviour towards self help.
Project co-ordinator Maria Burchell told The Swindon Advertiser that from December 2011 until last month, the service delivered 1,053 one to one sessions and had 129 service users pass through the project.
She said: “Our figures are also going up, which is sad because it means there is an increase in the number of people self harming, but I tend to look at it as a positive thing because we are here to provide a service and people are reaching out and using that service. We have seen an increase in the number of males accessing the project and when we look at the figures for sexuality, we are also seeing higher numbers of the gay community using the project. Self harm is classless and it is ageless.”
Maria continued “I would encourage anyone who is self harming to contact PASH as it is based on empathy, honesty and being a non-judgmental project. It allows service users to see there is a choice and there is always hope.”
For more information, visit pashswindon.org.uk, call 07796 196459 or 01793 695405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.